|(03 Feb 2014)
On January 29, 2014 the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) filed suit in D.C. District Court under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), charging two major Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agencies with multiple violations of the FOIA. TRAC's suit asks the court to order Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to make public:
- a comprehensive directory of the information they collect about their immigration investigations and enforcement activities;
- records detailing how these data are distributed as extracts or snapshots; and
- copies of the latest data stored in four of their main internal data repositories.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Susan B. Long and David Burnham, co-directors of TRAC, a non-partisan research data center at Syracuse University's Newhouse and Whitman Schools.
"Before the American people, the immigration groups, the immigration lawyers and the scholars can use the FOIA to better inform themselves about the government's sweeping enforcement activities, they must know what information is available and where it is stored," Long and Burnham said in a statement. "With the definitive directory we now seek, we hope the tedious and unlawful efforts of the agencies to limit informed insight can be reduced."
For twenty-five years, TRAC has been using the FOIA in a largely successful effort to obtain comprehensive data about how the government enforces the law, collects taxes and litigates cases. TRAC's actions have provided scholars, journalists, public interest groups, lawyers and others with the comprehensive data they require to independently analyze the performance of the federal government.
TRAC is represented in this action by the Public Citizen Litigation Group.
For more details on this matter, including the complaint document, see:
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